Most people probably don’t feel or consider themselves normal–I am a beautiful and unique snowflake, yadda yadda–but I have never really approached normalcy. Even before I was sexually abused as a child, there has always been something setting me apart from normal. They could be simple things like being tall, left-handed, synesthetic and hard of hearing, or the more unusual pink mohawk I sported for a while.
Even in the most mundane of life circumstances, I’ve never felt normal. I don’t care about what’s popular or cool. I don’t like the music, movies, books other people do. I’ve never seen a sitcom I can relate to at all. I have never dated anyone continuously for a year. Ever. I’ve never had a one year anniversary with anyone, not even Male, since technically, we’ve only officially dated for six months out of the fifteen years we’ve been on and off. The first six months, of course.
When I was a girl, I knew that I couldn’t be normal. Unchecked sexual abuse will pretty much ruin your chances of a normal life. I never dreamed about my big wedding. I didn’t care about Barbie dolls. I knew that I couldn’t have the life that most of my cohorts would. I couldn’t relate to them. My childhood ended when I was seven years old. I wanted that life, but I couldn’t have it. I pretended for a while. When I was in school, I used to pretend that I liked music or movies that I didn’t like at all just to fit in.
When I was a teen, I decided fuck that. Pretending is for salesmen and sociopaths. If I couldn’t be normal, I might as well embrace it and fly my freak flag high. I shaved off part of my hair and dyed the rest blue. I stole my dad’s flannel shirts and got a pair of big-ass combat boots. I stopped giving a shit. I stopped pretending.
The closest I ever came to normal was when I was about twenty or so. I had a boyfriend. I worked full-time. I went to college. It was pretty normal for a while, until the boyfriend proved to be a psycho stalker; he still called my parents for about a decade after we broke up until they moved. Creepy. I had to drop out of college and quit my job when I got hit on the head and became a goldfish. My normal life didn’t even last a year.
Over the years, I’ve seen my friends get degrees, find careers, get married, buy homes, have children… I’ve done none of that.
Sometimes, it pisses me off. The asshole pedophile stole all of that from me. I’ll never be the person I might have been had he not molested and tortured me for a year. Sometimes, the fact that I can’t have normal while those around me can really irritates me. I see my friends moving on with life and I think, “why can’t I have that? Having a husband, a home, a career doesn’t sound all bad.”
I’ll never be normal. I’ll never have the house, the kids, the career, the significant other. Part of it is me. It’s what I call survival mode. I’ve been living in survival mode most of my life. I don’t make plans beyond a few months. I don’t set goals, because I never know what the future will bring. I don’t have a retirement fund, because part of me still thinks I’ll never live that long. I have jumped from frying pan to fire to frying pan. I have no roots. I am ready to move at a moment’s notice. I am on the run. I don’t have a choice. I live in hiding because the monsters are still out there and they still try to contact me from time to time.
But, even if the monsters were put away, I’m not sure I could easily adjust. I’ve never known anything but running. I don’t know what it’s like to be able to put your face and your name on your writing. Just the thought of having my real name on this blog makes me queasy. Even if the monsters were gone, I’m not sure I could change that.
Unfortunately, the sad fact is, they’re not gone. They are still out there. They are not memories or figments of my imagination; the pedophile and the sociopath are very real and they are still out there trying to find me. There’s nothing I can do about it.
Still, part of me longs for normal. Part of me is jealous of those of you who can flaunt your faces and names and write as yourselves… live as yourselves. I live as a runaway and I will until the glorious day that the monsters are slayed.
So, those of you who have the degrees, the careers, the marriage, the homes, the children… appreciate what you have. Never take it for granted, because for some of us, it is not granted at all.